Latest Rail News

The Federal Railroad Administration has announced proposed rules to amend the Track Safety Standards and Passenger Equipment Safety Standards for high-speed and high-cant-deficiency train operations to promote safer rail vehicle and track interaction.

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Chicago Transit Authority Brown Line trains will be unable to enter the Loop from approximately 7:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 9, due to structural maintenance work on the Wells Street Bridge. During this time, shuttle buses will replace rail service between the Merchandise Mart and the Clark/Lake stations. Brown Line trains will operate normally between the Kimball and Merchandise Mart stations.


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A study committee voted to start preliminary engineering on a $95.8-million downtown Milwaukee modern streetcar line, the Journal Sentinel reports. The Milwaukee Connector study committee voted, 3-1, to seek Federal Transit Administration approval for the engineering work on the streetcar, which would link downtown attractions to the lower east side with trips every 10 or 15 minutes, from early morning to late at night, seven days a week, for $1 a ride.

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Travelers heading to Washington, D.C., will be whizzing through University City, N.C., at 90 mph sometime in the next few years, and that is causing rail officials in Raleigh to look at changes to protect Charlotte's drivers, residents and trains, Carolina Weekly reports. Improvements are planned for 12 miles of the existing track starting south of N.C. 49 near Concord and reaching all the way to Orr Road in the University City area. The project is just one of a number of projects the N.C. Railroad/Norfolk Southern Railway plan along a much larger section of track.

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The federal Surface Transportation Board today reaffirmed its jurisdiction over DesertXpress, a planned high-speed rail line linking Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif.

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Phil Pagano, Metra executive director, who was under investigation for financial misconduct, was struck and killed by a train in an unincorporated area of Crystal Lake, Ill.   Metra released the following statement from its Board of Directors: "It is with great sadnes ...

Illinois lawmakers signaled their support for a 220-mph high-speed passenger train that could someday connect Chicago and St. Louis, The Quad-City Times reports. On May 5, the State Senate unanimously approved a resolution creating the Illinois and Midwest High-Speed Rail Commission, which will recommend ways to design, build and maintain the train route. Members of the commission will be appointed by the governor and lawmakers.

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In an announcement that Madison officials hailed as a boon for downtown, Gov. Jim Doyle said May 6 that the "obvious, correct choice" for an Amtrak station is near Monona Terrace in Madison, Wis., the Wisconsin State Journal reports

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The main railroad between Memphis and Nashville has been knocked out of service, as the flood damaged five bridges along the route, the Tennessean reports. The Memphis line has been shut down since May 2, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and CSX Transportation, the line's owner. Workers were assessing damage, but the flood appears to have washed out two bridges over the Harpeth River and rendered three others unusable.

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Sierra Northern Railway Engine No. 48 rumbles slowly down the tacks toward Watsonville, Calif. A growling, 125-ton rolling box of steel and fuel, its form or one similar has hauled people and goods along the 32 miles of the Santa Cruz Branch Line railroad since 1881. Beneath it, the tracks and the land at least 20 feet on either side are owned by Union Pacific, as old and imposing a company as you'll find in American business. And until the Cemex cement plant in Davenport closed down in January, Cliff Walters and Wes Swift, the engineer and conductor inside the train, had plenty of work driving loads both north and south of Santa Cruz, their bosses at Sierra making a modest but steady profit while turning over lease payments in cash and services to UP like clockwork.

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